Next month it’s Clean Air Day – and students at St Peter’s Catholic School have a message for drivers - ‘Stop idling, don’t pollute - protect children and the environment’.
With the support of Solihull Council’s sustainable travel team, the school ran a competition to design a banner about the dangers of idling – that’s leaving your car engine running when you’re parked. Year 10 pupil Kiera won and was presented with the winning banner by Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing.
The exhaust emissions from an idling engine contain harmful chemicals which are particularly dangerous to young people. An ‘idling’ engine emits 20 times more pollution than a car travelling at 32 mph – so the school and pupils want to discourage people from idling, particularly close to the school.
Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing, chose Kiera’s winning design. He said:
“It is great to see young people learning about environmental issues that can really affect them.
“Idling outside schools is particularly harmful to children and teenagers as their lungs are young and still developing, so are at greater risk from the harmful chemicals emitted from vehicles. The air they breathe now can affect them for life.
“This competition has not only produced a striking banner for the school but has also raised the pupil’s awareness of the of the dangers of an idling engine and the importance of clean air – something they can pass on to their parents/carers and will hopefully influence behaviour.
“Well done to Kiera and to everyone else who took part. The competition received a fantastic response with so many great entries that can be used in the future to continue to spread the message.”
Turning engines off when stationary is just one of the simple steps we can take to protect our health, our family’s health, and children’s health from air pollution.
To learn more about how you can have a positive impact on air quality including other practical changes you can make, follow the UK’s largest campaign on air pollution, Clean Air Day on Thursday 16 June.
The day will see schools, healthcare, workplaces and communities across the UK running activities and taking action to inspire others to reduce the amount they pollute. People can get involved with the conversation online by following the @cleanairdayuk Twitter account and using the hashtag #CleanAirDay.
For more information visit: https://www.actionforcleanair.org.uk/